‘Vixen’ workouts blend fitness with girls’ night out

‘Vixen’ workouts blend fitness with girls’ night out

WORKOUT:The Miami Heat dancers perform during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Thursday, Jan. 2, in Miami. The Warriors defeated the Heat 123-114. Photo: Associated Press/Lynne Sladky

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Before the music begins members of the women-only exercise class, dressed in shredded tank tops, full makeup and wedged sneakers, pose seductively before studio mirrors and chant, “Yes, I’m sexy. Yes, I’m fierce. Yes, I’ve got this.”

Empowerment is a big part of the Vixen workout, a hip-hop dance class with a night club feel that fitness experts say offers a cardio girls’ night out to women who may be keen to channel their inner Beyoncé, Ciara or Rihanna, but wouldn’t be caught dead in a gym.

“It’s all about wearing your sexiest leggings, putting on your brightest red lipstick and taking your hair down so you can bend over and shake it,” said Jolie Bedini, 40, a single mother who takes a Miami Vixen class up to five times a week.

Fueled by the songs from rap stars Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Pitbull, the workout mixes sultry dance moves such as booty battles, kitten stretches and twerks with body lunges and squats.

“A bit of sexy dancing and you’re into the zone,” said Bedini, noting that the workout helped her lose weight.

Up to 100 women attend the party-lit, hour-long, mostly evening classes, which began in Miami and have spread to New Jersey, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The workout is the brainchild of Janet Jones, a former Miami Heat basketball team dancer and hip-hop performer.

Jones said the concept emerged from the invisibility she felt after her pregnancy and taking a nine-to-five job, a time she refers to as her black hole.

“Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, they’re all vixens. Beyoncé is the ultimate vixen but I think every woman has a vixen inside her,” Jones said.

She said encouraging clients to dress for a girls’ night out gets them into the performance spirit.

“Most of them have never experienced themselves as performers. All of a sudden they’re focusing on getting the movement, picking up the choreography. They work harder and lose weight,” she explained. “If I have no makeup and I’m in sweats, I don’t feel like a vixen.”

Shirley Archer, a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, said the Vixen workout is effective.

“Everyone is getting their heart rates up and moving continuously throughout the routine,” said Archer, author of “The Everything Wedding Workout Book.”

Learning dance moves is also great brain exercise as it challenges the mind-body connection, coordination and memorization.

“The best exercise for you is the exercise that you actually do,” she explained. “Making the workout fun, like a girls night out at a dance club, is a great way to motivate women who enjoy dancing to keep on training, which is key to getting results.”

Jones said the women in the classes average 25 to 35 years old but some are in their 70’s.

“My mother-in law takes the class,” she said. “All women need a time for themselves to be a little rebellious.”

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Richard Chang)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

HOLIDAY TV: What to watch this week


This week is packed with programs to get you in the holiday spirit.

in Entertainment

Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS

FILE - In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Bono arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. A New York City doctor says U2 singer Bono suffered multiple fractures and had to have two surgeries after his weekend bicycle accident. Orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Dean Lorich says Bono underwent a five-hour surgery on his elbow in which three plates and 18 screws were inserted on Sunday night. Bono had another surgery to repair a fracture to his left pinkie on Monday. Lorich says Bono will need therapy but a full recovery is expected.

Bono is a launching an all-star campaign featuring "once-in-a-lifetime experiences" like walking the red carpet with Meryl Streep or visiting the "Game of Thrones" set.

in Entertainment

WHAT’S ON: New on Netflix, Amazon & Hulu in December


Get your remotes ready for a new round of binge-worthy movies and TV.

in Music

Chris Brown donating album proceeds to charity


The singer is giving a children's hospital a big boost by donating proceeds from his new album "Royalty" to the organization.

in Music

Adele’s ’25’ continues to smash records


British singer Adele's new album sold a record 3.38 million U.S. copies in its first full week, Nielsen Music said, becoming the biggest-selling album of 2015 in an astonishing feat for an era when artists rarely top 1 million.


condition Condition: Overcast
Temperature: 36°
High: 35° - Low: 30°